The Current XEUS Concept

In order to meet the scientific requirements discussed above, an X-ray telescope is required providing more than ten times the collecting area of XMM-Newton and an angular resolution of better than 5 arcsec, with a goal of 2 arcsec. This will be achieved with a X-ray telescope of 35 m focal length, consisting of a mirror satellite and a detector satellite in formation flight.

For the large mirrors a novel design is under development, which is based on light weight silicon pore optics [2]. The detector spacecraft will carry a Wide-Field Imager, utilizing modern silicon pixel sensor technology, which will provide a limiting sensitivity in the 0.1-10 keV band around hundred times deeper than XMM-Newton. Photons above 10keV will be picked up by a hard X-ray detector mounted behind the silicon device in a hybrid configuration. A cryogenically cooled narrow-field-imager, most likely based on a Transition-Edge-type microcalorimeter will provide an energy resolution of 2-3 eV. In addition to these two work-horse instruments smaller, more specialized instruments are planned, in particular a hightime-resolution spectrometer (HTRS) based on silicon drift detectors providing very high time resolution and count rate capability to study the brightest X-ray sources on the sky on the dynamical time scale of their compact objects, and an X-ray polarime-ter (XPOL) utilizing the huge effective area of XEUS for unprecedented physical emission diagnostics.

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